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Guardians filmmaker James Gunn wrote and directed the special, which closes out Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Sean Gunn — actors who are now all exactly 1 degree from Kevin Bacon.
In Guardians lore, Star-Lord (Pratt) reveres actor Kevin Bacon and his work in the dance-centric movie Footloose. The Guardians decide to meet Bacon as a way to give Star-Lord some holiday cheer, as he is mourning the loss of Gamora (Saldaña).
Bacon, who worked with Gunn on 2010’s Super, has spoken about being name-checked in Guardians.
As he told Esquire last year: “When I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, I went to see it having no idea that I was discussed. It was an afternoon in New York, I was on 67th Street and went by myself, as I often do. I was like, ‘Holy shit. They’re talking about me. Are you guys getting this?'”
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced the holiday special back in December 2020. The special joins Werewolf by Night as part of Marvel’s Disney+ plans to share stories that are neither theatrical films nor full streaming series.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special arrives on Nov. 25, just weeks after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters. As for the Guardians, they will be back on the big screen for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, arriving May 5, 2023.
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